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New regulations on Agency workers must only be the first step

26 February, 2008

Sinn Fein MLA Sue Ramsey, who is the Chairperson of the Assembly Employment and Learning Committee, has welcomed the new regulations on the conduct of Employment Agencies but stressed there are many other issues in relation to the rights of Agency workers that need to be addressed.

Ms Ramsey said:

"The purpose of these regulations is to increase the protection offered to people seeking employment, where an employment agency makes provision for accommodation or transport. It also provides protection for fee-charging practices of agencies in the entertainment and modeling sector.

"Some may consider this legislation limited in scope. However, the issue of linking employment to other components such as transport and accommodation is a controversial area and one open to abuse.

"It is essential that workers do not suffer any detriment as a result of these employment 'add-ons'.

"I also think it is important that the modeling and entertainment industries are given particular attention in this legislation, given their position in employing young women who may, potentially, be quite vulnerable.

"There are many other issues in relation to Agency workers that the Assembly will need to return to in the future. However, with regard to these regulations, they can only strengthen the position of Agency workers and that should be welcomed." ENDS

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